Marked by vivid, well-defined blackberry, wild berry, boysenberry and huckleberry flavors, accented by vibrant acidity.
Andrew Murray Vineyards
Andrew Murray Vineyards is exciting property has the potential to produce wines that rival the best from the northern Rhône valley. Andrew Murray, the founder of the eponymous vineyard, is completely committed to growing Rhône varietals and producing wines in the style of Hermitage and Côte Rôtie. His wines are packed with flavor; unfined and unfiltered, these estate-grown wines are destined to become classics. The wines are beautifully packaged, but they have much more than "good looks" going for them. Andrew Murray Vineyards is a 200-acre site located about 1,500 feet above Foxen Canyon Road in the warm, inland portion of the Santa Ynez Valley, making the vineyard the highest in the county. Currently, 34 acres are planted to Syrah, Viognier, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Roussanne in 26 small, steep, carefully situated hillside vineyard blocks.
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The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.